2017 Key Markets Performance
Aviation capacity for the first nine months of 2017 increased by 15,408 in absolute terms or grew by 8.3% when compared to the same period in 2016.
This was largely attributed to the 19 additional flights out of Auckland by Air New Zealand highlighting its continuing confidence in the route as well as the additional capacity of 9,396 seats brought about by Talofa Airways as they were notin operation until August last year.
Air New Zealand’s additional flights meant that its passengers out of Auckland increased by 5,476 although it didn’t really affect Virgins market share where its total passengers only decreased by 176 as its flight schedule out of Auckland largely remained the same. The net result of the additional flights means an additional 3,325 travellers flew out of Auckland for the first nine months of the year compared to 2016.
Talofa Airways entry into the market added an additional 6,751 travellers out of American Samoa for the period and it resulted in a decline in overall passengers by Polynesian Airlines of 3,709 as it scaled back flights to accommodate the competition. The increase in capacity led to an increase of 3,042 travellers for the period from American Samoa and it’s a much needed shot in the arm for a market that has been in decline over the past 5 years.
The Australian Routes operated solely by Virgin slightly increased its overall capacity with two extra flights out of Brisbane. It resulted in an overall increase of travellers out of Brisbane by 352 although there was a decrease of 252 in travellers out of Sydney.
Fiji Airways who operates flights out of Honolulu, Suva and Nadi increased its capacity by 5,832 as it increased its total flights out of Nadi and Suva by 41 and 15 respectively while maintaining its weekly flight out of Honolulu. The increase in flights from Fiji brought in an additional 2,762 travellers.
Overall, the increase in overall capacity didn’t quite translate into the increase in visitors as we would have liked with overall inbound travellers increasing by only 8,963 compared to an increase in total capacity by 15,408 seats which resulted in a decrease of utilization percentage to 76% from 74% recorded for the same period last year.
However, it is projected that the increase in travellers would translate favourably in an overall increase in tourist numbers as they account for approximately 70% -75% of air travellers meaning that increase of between 5,000 - 6,000 visitors over the first eight months of 2016.